The Many Reasons Students Quit College

EdSurge Podcast

The Many Reasons Students Quit College

By Jeffrey R. Young     Aug 2, 2022

The Many Reasons Students Quit College
Tim Lum (left), Paul Carr (middle) and Gina Petersen (right) all started postsecondary education long ago. Now they're back to finish a college degree.

This article is part of the guide: The EdSurge Podcast.

There are 36 million Americans who have earned some college credit, but not an actual degree. More colleges than ever are trying to help these students return to finish what they started. But so far, colleges are better at attracting these learners than helping them get across the finish line. Why is it so hard? What do these students want? What challenges do they face? And what strategies seem to be working?

EdSurge is digging into the struggles of returning adult college students in this three-episode narrative podcast series—Second Acts. We’ll be following the educational journeys of three college students from different backgrounds and different parts of the country. Along the way, we’ll also meet some of their professors, academic coaches and other folks working to help them succeed.

The first episode of the series dropped today. In it, we meet the three students—Paul Carr from Detroit; Gina Petersen from Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Tim Lum, from Honolulu.

We learn how bad experiences and feelings of disengagement in middle and high school can haunt students even as they enter college. And it becomes clear that there are a wide range of factors for why people leave post-secondary education before finishing.

This podcast series is supported by the Lumina Foundation.

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